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The House at Riverton: A Novel by Kate…
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The House at Riverton: A Novel (original 2006; edition 2009)

by Kate Morton

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3,4681841,534 (3.85)286
Member:thebooky
Title:The House at Riverton: A Novel
Authors:Kate Morton
Info:Washington Square Press (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 473 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:*****
Tags:gothic novel, fiction, England, WWI, ebook

Work details

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (2006)

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    A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: There is a passage in The Shifting Fog which describes the relationship between Hannah and Emmeline as a "string that bends, it will eventually snap and the points will separate; if elastic, they will continue to part, further and further, until the strain reaches its limits and they are pulled back with such speed that they cannot help but collide with devastating force." In The Dark-Adapted Eye, the sisters are Vera and Eden whose inexplicably interdependent-but-destructive relationship embody the aforementioned elastic string. The story is told from the perspective of their niece who accompanies the reader on the events leading up to the devastation.… (more)
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» See also 286 mentions

English (168)  Spanish (4)  Norwegian (3)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (182)
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
I seem to really enjoy stories that flip back and forth from the past to present day. This one was an example of that. Grace, a servant as her mother before her and lady's maid to Hannah. The story gives us the back drop of the early 1900's and leading up to the suicide of a young aspiring poet at Riverton which in present day is under production by a young woman who is seeking Grace's insight of the time she was in service at Riverton. Grace now nearing 100 yrs old is the only one left to share her knowledge. She has kept secrets, lots of secrets. As the story unfolds, we learn her relationship to the family, the consequences of the war, lies and the secrets that bind a servant to her lady. The mystery unfolds, although, it takes a long time it seems, the story is very descriptive and you can definitely walk with the characters as they grow up. However, I am never brought to tears, although there is more sadness to this story than happiness. I do think there is a sequel, that is waiting to be told! ( )
  booklovers2 | Feb 28, 2015 |
This book was a total surprise to me. I really don't go for historical fiction that meanders about with too much emphasis on the tawdry social fights that go on between the upstairs/downstairs set.
This work entirely upset my expectations. I was more than happy to read further and further into this work. Some other reviewers have dinged it for poor storytelling...I believe they are dissatisfied with the pacing. The pace is appropriate for this story, and pays off very well for the reader who wants to dive deep into a character's nuances.
That was the most enjoyable part of this work. The twists at the end weren't so surprising to me but as an author, that's not unusual. Besides, this work isn't really read for it's twists. It's read for the nuances and subtle (and yes, often not-so-subtle) impacts into various lives of different events.
I truly, truly liked this novel. So much so that I went right away to another of the same author's books. Very well done and worth the time to slow down your reading pace and walk with these people. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
I am reading my 3rd title by this author and I am enjoying her books very much.
An incredible 'sense of place', descriptive characters, a bit of mystery, a sense
of the gothic, suspense, emotion, multiple central characters, history and time travel
through different eras. I am very happy as a reader! ( )
  diana.hauser | Feb 9, 2015 |
Solid historical with a satisfying ending.
  SusanBNM | Nov 23, 2014 |
A solid book which picked up its pace and characterisation at the last third of the book. I enjoyed the use of Grace as the narrator/witness to the unfolding events but I would have preferred her involvements/connections to be more detached and for the story to not focus on her later achievements/family - Ruth, Marcus, why bother? Although Alfred was a sweet touch - as they all seemed so redundant and pulled away from the atmosphere of the story (half a star off).However, I cannot begrudge portrayals of women who are interested in furthering their education.

The device of having a movie being made in 1999 based on the events of 1924 seemed unnecessary - what was the point of Ursula, really - , but that's because I don't enjoy having screenplays cutting up the flow of stories, much less as an opener (newspaper clippings and letters, however, are fine for some reason) (half a star off). The first half of the book was spent on building up the supposed special bond - The Game is a big "signifier" of this but it didn't sound like it was anything other than make-believes that children have been doing for ages, but it was supposed to be more special here somehow because of the special rules? - between the siblings and their personalities which took too long and was not so convincing. (a star off)

There were a few sections where the reveal of the twists were a bit too heavy-handed, for example when Grace spends a few pages having a stream of consciousness and figures out who her father is all the time while being proposed to and other times, unnecessary, for example Ursula is Hannah's descendant which did not really justify the necessity of her place in the book (half a star off). I did however like the role of shorthand.

Lest it be thought that I did not like the book, the last third and especially the last hundred pages really made up the the rest. I may be a little unfavourable towards the book as all throughout, I was comparing it to [A Dark-Adapted Eye] which kept the cast of characters more compact and more relevantly and I was more convinced of the "special bond" between the sisters. ( )
  kitzyl | Sep 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Mortonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fernández Jiménez, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Davin, who holds my hand on the roller-coaster
First words
Last November I had a nightmare.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published in Australia as "The Shifting Fog." Name changed to "The House at Riverton" for publication in the UK and US.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A story of love, mystery, and a secret history revealed. Summer 1924. On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again. Winter 1999. Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid at Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories-long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind-begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.
Haiku summary
Secrets aplenty
In the house at Riverton.
All will be revealed.
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Grace Bradley went to work at Riverton House as a servant when she was just a girl, before the First World War. For years her life was inextricably tied up with the Hartford family, most particularly the two daughters, Hannah and Emmeline. In the summer of 1924, at a glittering society party held at the house, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline and only they--and Grace--know the truth. In 1999, when Grace is ninety-eight years old and living out her last days in a nursing home, she is visited by a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer. She takes Grace back to Riverton House and reawakens her memories--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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